Guide to extinguishing and preventing fires, treating burns

Death by external factors, such as accidents, accounts for 8.2 percent of Jordan’s mortality, making it the third leading cause of death in the Kingdom. (Photo: Unsplash)
AMMAN — Death by external factors, such as accidents, accounts for 8.2 percent of Jordan’s mortality, making it the third leading cause of death in the Kingdom.اضافة اعلان

Of those external causes, fire and fire-associated deaths are the fourth most prevalent.

A study measuring fire incidences in Jordan between 1996 and 2004 found that residential homes are the second most common places for fire-related fatalities. Here are some rules to follow to ensure your safety and the safety of others during a fire:

In Jordan, the average response time to a fire is eight minutes. Knowing the different types of fires may help you prevent larger fires from erupting.

Globally, there are different classifications of fires that are constantly being updated. These classifications may help you determine how to put certain fires out or which extinguisher to use.

Type 1: Combustible-related fires, such as those started by wood, paper, and fiber. These types of fires are easiest to put out and can be smothered, drowned in water, or extinguished by most fire extinguishers.

Type 2: Flammable liquid-related fires, such as gasoline or flammable gasses like propane. Typically, a CO2 extinguisher works for both. But for liquids, halon extinguishers work better. If it can be done safely, closing the line or valve for flammable gasses is also a viable option.

Type 3: Fires started by spontaneously combustible metals such as lithium. These types of fires are notoriously difficult to put out because certain metals burn more when exposed to air or water. In these cases, containing the fire by safely removing other combustible items and using certain dry powder extinguishers are the best options.

Type 4: Electrical fires, started by short circuits or overloads. These fires can be extinguished like combustible-related fires but come with an added risk of electrocution.

Type 5: Arguably the most common in household accidents, which is the reason it was given its own classification.

Cooking oils and fats pose a serious health risk due to its high rate of instances and people’s lack of knowledge when dealing with these fires. Water only makes these fires worse.

To put it out, turn off the heat safely, and if possible, cover the fire with a lid or use an extinguisher suited for kitchen fires.

First aid:

Burns can be accessed quickly to determine the course of action. Minor burns are typically painful, red, blistery, and superficial.

The area of the burn should be no larger than eight centimeters. To treat minor burns, first cool the burn under running water or a wet compress until the pain eases. Aloe vera can be used to help heal these burns, followed wrapping the burn in sterile gauze without applying too much pressure.

Major burns are deep, appear white, brown, or black, and are larger than eight centimeters.

They affect the hands, feet, face, or genitals. Before tending to the wound, dial 911 immediately.

Cover the burn in a cool, moist bandage. Do not situate the wound under running water for risk of hypothermia (decreased body temperature). Keep the area elevated above the heart line, and watch for signs of shock.

Types of burns:

Burns vary in severity and degree. First-degree burns are typically mild, top layer burns that become red and do not blister such as sunburns.

Second-degree burns extend to the lower layers of skin and are associated with blistering. Third-degree burns reach all three layers of skin and may destroy nerve endings.

The skin may become black, white, or red and appear leathery. In terms of severity, minor burns are first- and second-degree burns that cover less than 10 percent of the body and usually do not require a trip to the hospital.

Moderate burns are second-degree burns that cover approximately 10 percent of the body, but classification may range to severe depending on burns to hands, feet, face, or genitals.

Severe burns are third-degree burns that cover more than 10 percent of the body.

Preventative measures:

According to the Cleveland Clinicm there are many simple day-to-day measures you can take to prevent fire-related injuries.

In the case of first-degree burns, wear sunscreen, and ensure your hot water heater is at a reasonable temperature (for example, 45°C).

Furthermore, move hazardous materials such as matches and lighters away from children. In larger homes, installing smoke detectors will alert you about fires that may have started.

For those who own gas heaters or fireplaces in the winter, set safeguards around them, ensure there are no flammable objects near them, and check that the propane line or tank is not leaking.

In the kitchen, try to use the back burners more often, and turn the handles so you do not accidently hit them.

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